Some of my students think that it’s a great college for photography – no question. But, it’s also a great college for anything else. Students are not limited to photography students; it’s like a whole universe. In that sense it’s a really interesting thing to watch them expand. When they leave and do other things, you might ask what they are doing while they’re here. The most common answer is they’re making more art – painting and writing. They’ll also spend an awful lot of time developing computers and doing computer programming. They find the opportunity to use their brains and that’s great. They have plenty of opportunities that allow for them to use their free time.
You mention that people take some time off to do other things. How much of that is a “good time?”
We tend to think that it’s a good time and a bad time. But, it’s hard for the student-parents to know that just because they are leaving. There are so many times when it’s hard to say, “Yeah, this is a bad time, and I want to go back to being with you, and I want to do another course of study.” Sometimes they think they are going back a year when they are actually going six months. There are times when they think they might take vacation, but they will end up leaving and saying, “Okay, I want to go to the movies next week. This is my favorite.” Because people don’t like to spend as much time at home as they are here. They are going to be away from their families so they go where they are going.
Do you know of any professors who are less than happy to see students leave?
No, I can’t say that I do, but I have been advised by a couple of them not to give that advice. The last professor who I knew that did that was the author of This Is How You Lose It by Charles Bukowski. The reason why he said that was because he had talked to many students about how good the quality of the lectures had become. And then he said he didn’t want to be around them at all when they were in college, so he had a very long talk and gave them a very nice gift – in English. It was about the nature of writing. He said, “Do you want to write your own articles or books? How about the book I’m writing? You can write your own articles, and I’ll make sure you get paid for it